Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed that a U-turn from Real Madrid allowed the Gunners to sign attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard on a permanent transfer.
Odegaard was an excellent goal for Arsenal this summer after his successful loan in the second half of last season, with Arteta wanting to add some much-needed creativity to his squad for 2021/22.
Odegaard spent the preseason with Real Madrid / Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images
The Norwegian eventually returned to the Emirates Stadium last week permanently, despite the fact that it seemed unlikely that a deal would happen earlier in the window. The player himself thought he would be part of Carlo Ancelotti’s plans at the Bernabeu as early as June, and North Londoners were constantly linked to a move for Leicester’s James Maddison in the meantime.
But eventually they got their husband.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, Arteta revealed a sudden, unexplained change in Real Madrid’s attitude facilitated the transfer, while the player had been eager.
“I was really happy [to sign Odegaard] “At one point we thought it would not be possible,” he said. Madrid were not particularly keen on selling the player. Martin always expressed his desire to come, but it did not look very possible and then the door opened. “
“The club was directly supportive and Edu did a good job of handling the situation and we got the player we wanted and we know because we already have experience with him for six months.”
Arsenal’s head coach went on to explain why the Gunners had decided to take Norway’s captain back to the club.
“I think he makes the rest of the players around him better,” he added. “His work ethic is phenomenal, how he goes to work, his professionalism, his character, he is a very likeable person.
Martin Odegaard? Arsenal
Mikel Arteta explains how we wrote under our new no. 8 this summer?
– Arsenal (@Arsenal) 24 August 2021
“I think he has fitted really well into the culture and then for how we want to play he is a player with exceptional qualities to add to them.”
Arsenal will hope that the 22-year-old will hit the ground. The club in north London has made one of its worst starts in a season with 2-0 defeats in a row against Brentford and Chelsea respectively.
It has been reported that Arteta has only been given five more matches to guarantee his future, otherwise the club’s hierarchy may be forced to take drastic action.